Paul Stanley from the legendary rock band Kiss saw “The Phantom of the Opera” in 1988 and said he felt the character expressed something essential about his life, as he commented on the Queen Latifah show. Stanley said, “I can do that.’ But I had no background in it. Ten years later, I got a call from my talent agent, and they says, ‘How do you feel about trying to do a musical?”, as reported by Classic Rock.
Even though he was a rock legend by that time and was suggested the role by his agent, Stanley still had to go through an audition and landed the role. Once Stanley was cast, he was flown to Toronto where the show had been running for a decade. Stanley performed 8 shows a week. He said the role changed his life.
Stanley, who has written his memoirs, “Face the Music: A Life Exposed, ” described the effect the role had on his life, “I started to realize in many ways, the Phantom was me. It was a story of a scarred, deformed musician who hid behind a mask. Wow, I didn’t even see that. He was looking for love and couldn’t give it back, even though he wanted it. It was a turning point for me. It also coincided with a change of life, ending a marriage that perhaps was never meant to be.”
Paul Stanley, like Gene Simmons of Kiss, is Jewish and his mother fled the Nazis and eventually made her way to America. Gene Simmons was born in Haifa and moved to America as a young man.